Style Arc Elani and Barb

Happy days. The roof is complete, no more leaks, my hair is cut! and I am finally feeling some sew-jo 🙂

I haven’t posted a pic of myself in so long that this is almost a reveal. Behind the scenes, I’ve been looking for a woven tunic top with some fun detail. Enter the Style Arc Elani tunic:

It’s not a new release, in fact I have notes in my Evernote files about this top going back a couple years – about how I could modify the Adeline dress for an Elani. In fact, reasonable, but more on that below.

My britches a the Style Arc Barb pants in poly bengaline. And the rumples are my approach to linen – wash, dry, wear.

This is so cute!

Sewing notes:

  • My fabric is a linen/rayon blend, 55%/45%, from I laundered it twice, once before cutting, and once after construction. I drew all over this top with pencil while I was sewing it.
  • I drafted the size 10, my usual size for a Style Arc top.
  • I do not know why SA uses 1/4″ neckline seam allowances, but I drew mine at 3/8″, to match the remainder of the pattern and to make me comfortable with using linen.
  • From sewing the Adeline, I knew the neckline would gap. So I sewed the front with a 3/8″ seam allowance, serged and topstitched. In fact, the additional detail keeps this top from resembling a scrub top… And I adjusted the neckline and hem facings to match.
  • The pattern has sleeve facings, with a suggestion for turning them in a narrow cuff. Not liking short sleeve cuffs, I just turned the sleeve with a 1″ hem.
  • A big, actually major, disappointment. The pockets. The Style Arc drawings suggest a unique pocket. Well, no. The included pocket is the usual kidney bean version, which I used. But I was not happy to find this anomaly in the actual pattern. And I’ve sent an email to Style Arc about this, requesting a pattern re-draft. Hmmm. I will, of course, share any response.
  • The instructions are the usual sparse and kind of weird Style Arc notes, but I do think a beginner sewist could do this with a little forethought and examination of the pattern.
  • BTW, the first 4 times I typed ‘sewist’, WordPress changed it to ‘sexist’.

So, some fun. I’ve read a lot of reviews that compare the Elani top to the Adeline dress. And it’s true, the pattern is exactly the same down to the hemline. I’ve added measurements in the pics below, in the event you would like to modify your Adeline.

Crocs meet gator …

Bye for now! Coco

Noodlehead Pepin Tote love

Not many patterns get the ‘love’ in the title, but this one really deserves it!

These days, any tote that holds stuff and looks good is a plus 🙂 I did a muslin, kind of shrinking the sizing, a couple weeks ago. Honestly, I made it smaller because I was afraid the original sizing would be overwhelming (see below). My muslin, I’ll call it the Coco version, which I carry every day:

And the full version, it’s great and not overwhelming at all. Which is why we do test versions, right? Some of the online pics in waxed canvas had me thinking the size was too much. I sewed all of mine (4 now, 3 small, 1 full-size) in mid-weight canvas, more on that below, but just perfect.

So what’s the difference? I did a table of the original Pepin and my smaller version for my own notes. If you are sewing the tote, the table will make sense 🙂

More pics from my latest and full-size version (a gift to a dear friend for the holidays). I made the bag plus a zippered bag (Elizabeth Hartman bags) to match. I love the Elizabeth Hartman patterns:

Notes on my fabrics:

  • Exterior, canvas, found on Amazon, James Thompson 9.3 oz. Canvas Duck Black, comes in many colors and is 60″ wide! The perfect weight for a tote bag. I’ve done 4 bags from 2 yards, with scraps for little bags.
  • Lining, any quilting fabric is fine. I often to to Marshall Dry Goods, which is the original manufacturer of many quilting cottons you might research. Except, when you buy from them, it’s half the cost. Example, the Andover Quail (otherwise known in searches as Andover Organic Lines). It’s $6.99 v.s.$10.99 at retailer sites. MDG is a site worthwhile exploration for anyone who uses quilting or sheeting fabrics. Incredible inventory, the largest fabric manufacturer in the U.S.
  • Fusibles.
    • Here’s the trick. For my exterior/canvas pieces I used Pellon 808 Craft-fuse. Love love for bags and wallets of any description.
    • For the interior pieces/lining I used Shapeflex 101 woven fusible. (I actually buy the latter 5 yards at a time, for many many sewing projects. I no longer use any knit fusible). An alternative, just do an interlining with any woven fabric, not fusible.
  • I would love to use waxed canvas, but my research shows that it really is waxed. Not wanting a bag melt-down in Florida heat, I have passed on this option.
  • Last note, I cut all my straps at 26 1/4″ long, using Strapworks lightweight polypropylene web strapping, on a roll on Amazon. The length – I don’t want it to drag the ground when I’m holding it by the handles:

WordPress has gone beyond me, seems like I type 4 times and fool around much more to do things I used to do with a mouse drag. Like resizing the pic of the strapping. You? Aargh.

Not to whinge, I hope all of you are well, finding peace in your space, and looking forward to our holidays, to be celebrated in full.


Noodlehead Pepin Tote muslin

Got to be having some fun, right? I love the Noodlehead Pepin Tote, just released. It’s so well drafted and just begs for customization. The instructions are, as always, amazing. Bonus – seam allowances are included.

My first thought was to make it a bit more narrow and less deep, as shown in my pics. I cut my fabric at 16.5″ wide, rather than 19″ wide, and mine is 3′ deep. But I’m going for the full monte on my future versions.

I love the idea of using waxed canvas, as above, but it’s not practical for the sub-tropics. I don’t relish the idea of my bag melting in my car, on my clothes, eating outside. And it would, I researched it!. So I’m using a mid-weight canvas.

I have enough canvas left for two final versions, one for me and one as a Christmas gift. This morning I ordered this delightful Andover Quail cotton from Marshall Dry Goods for the lining and inside pockets (I’ll oppose the stripe on the pockets).

Bye for now! Coco

Still here, just wandering a bit

Ok, I’ve not been very successful in the sewing department for a few weeks. It seems that I bin two out of every three things I make! I really don’t mind, all that sewing and fussing has kept me occupied.

However – lately I’ve turned to my stamp collection as solace. Nice days, no TV, no music – just me, stamps, Scotts catalogs, and albums. Stamp hinges all over the place. I’ve been collecting since 1979, international stamps through 1959. Lovely way to spend time 🙂

Today, in honor of Election Day, I cleared my table and did some cutting – two pairs of black bengaline Style Arc Barb pants. This is hands-down my favorite pant pattern with this fabric, and these are pairs 2 and 3. Side note, back in the day, traveling overseas for work or fun, I just took 2 pairs of Bengaline pants with me (vintage Liz Claiborne). Indestructible and no wrinkles, easy to clean, perfect with any suit jacket or top.

Some time ago I purchased 5 yards of Bengaline from Fabric Genie = 3 pairs of pants in total (first pair here, with sewing notes).

I will be busy, with the benefit of guaranteed success, for a while. I just need to rethread the serger with black thread:-)

I hope everyone is well, safe, at peace, and loved. Coco

Itch to Stitch Causeway bomber jacket pt.1

When Itch to Stitch announced their Causeway bomber jacket, I jumped on it. It has everything I really want in a bomber, primarily set-in sleeves. My experience with the Style Art Bobbi bomber taught me that raglan sleeves just don’t work for me, my shoulders are broad, the upper bodice was too narrow.

Check out the front detail! There are pockets hidden inside the front bodice seams. How neat is that 🙂

I printed and modified the size 10 with an A cup. I think (hope) the bodice will fit with the ease I like.

Having 5 yards of coffee Kona cotton for the lining, I went for it. Working with Kona had a big benefit – I was able to determine the fabric requirement for a 44″ wide fabric. The instructions only provide the requirement for a 58″ wide fabric. So – two yards.

I’m going to sew this Kona version for fit. I added 1″ to the length of bodice/back/sleeve/pocket, for more more fitting room. And I have enough to change-up the size if needed. Meanwhile, I’ve ordered fabric for the shell and ribbing (I already have a zipper). This is Alexander Henry A Ghastlie Craft plus rib kit in olive, both from

I admit, I’m so into fabrics and styles that are a bit outré – blame it on Covid! I really am not interested in staid/predictable styles or prints. 🙂

Having said that, it’s the weekend. Perhaps not as we all spent it before, but I do hope you are well and loved. For now, Coco

Exuberant fall jacket, Gerard Manteau

The temperatures are falling, time for a new fall/winter jacket.

Going in, there are no pics on me. I seem to have lost touch with my narcissistic self, I have myopic vision, and I dislike taking photos of myself. Is this growth (sounds good) or or a symptom of Covid stasis…

I know I’m not alone in this. Moving on, check out this wonderful, happy, show-it-off jacket!! More pics…

Sewing notes:

  • This is the Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau, a lovely boyfriend style reminiscent of the 70’s and 80’s. My ‘old’ version is not quite like the new one, see my last post of this jacket for differences.
  • I sew the size small, with some adjustments below the midriff if I want to button it, as in the last corduroy version, link above. It has a distinct cocoon shape, which I love. I don’t plan to button this one, so it is in the original design, cocoon glory.
  • This is a large print, STOF Zoya Multiflore in linen, from So I laid the fabric on the floor, having drafted duplicate tissue of all the pattern pieces.
  • This jacket begs for Hong Kong seam finishes, since I’m not lining it. I used poly broadcloth, my go-to for binding. I ordered a yard, and cut the entire piece in bias binding, you never know when you will need a strip of a fun color. And I go for a mass binding application!

It does feel strange to close without a final photo on me. So here’s a pic of the same fabric, 30″x40″, over my piano 🙂

I’m grateful to share , and I sincerely hope everyone is well and hanging in there.

Ciao! Coco

Ogden dress variation!

I’m catching up on August True Bias Ogden month, with wild hair and no makeup (as promised in my last post).

Since I am living in my Ogden top/Pattern Emporium harem pants combos, as well as my Simplicity 8640 handkerchief hem dresses, I just had to do an Ogden dress.

I matched the top and the dress at the top of the side seam/base of the armhole. What a fortuitous fit! This was so easy.


In the rain, Cloud9 monkeys from

And two more from this morning, sunshine on the porch, shirting fabric from Fabric Mart:

Before I go, how to express fully my appreciation for all the sharing and supportive comments on my ‘low battery’ post. Thank you all – I feel fortunate to share this planet with so many wonderful friends.